Museum staff discover bird sized beetle was shot out of the sky by Victorian insect collector.
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Posted 11 March 2010 - 10:23 AM
A bird-sized beetle was shot out of the sky by a gun-toting Victorian insect collector, museum experts have discovered. The Goliath beetle, from Africa, is housed at London's Natural History Museum.
Staff at the museum had been puzzled by small circular holes in the giant bug's tough exterior. But it was only when cameras started rolling for a BBC documentary on the museum that the mystery was solved.
Forensic scientist Heather Bonney confirmed that the beetle had been shot after her investigation identified entry and exit wounds, and X-rays revealed a shotgun pellet still inside the the body.
The positioning of the wounds showed the beetle was in flight when it was shot, but the pellets hit the creature's back and not its underside.
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